A place-based high school semester program.

Western United States 

Fall 2022: August 26 – December 8

Montana | Wyoming | Utah | Colorado | Arizona

Unleash your inner explorer as you meander through the forest-covered mountains of the Rockies; the red-streaked walls of southern Utah; and the cacti-filled deserts of the Southwest. You’ll live out your van-life dreams as students and faculty travel the region in two sprinter vans, camping and staying in lodges along the journey. Discover the West like you’ve never before. 

This 15-week semester will develop your critical inquiry skills; broaden your understanding of power, privilege and identity in the US; help you pursue outdoor challenges through multiple expeditions; and strengthen your community-based leadership principles. You will finish the semester feeling inspired to form your own opinions, deeply connected to your tight-knit cohort and empowered to confront the beauty and complexities of U.S. realities. 

Looking back, I enjoyed every moment of not being inside a classroom. it’s just so powerful. There were moments that were really challenging but we got through them together – which is also a unique experience. There is nothing more exhilarating than having a baby bear join your history lesson or writing essays wearing gloves and a headlamp by a river.


Rimone Aram, Fall 2023 Western US

In class, you might...

  • Observe how flash-floods shape the canyon ecosystems of southern Utah's Bears Ears National Monument.
  • Discuss the historical and present controversies around public land management in the west.
  • Unpack US immigration policy while having class in front of the US - Mexico border wall
  • Hear from local environmental and Indigenous activists as you learn about the Land Back movement for indigenous sovereignty.

Outside of class, you might...

  • Rock climb the granite walls of southern Arizona.
  • Explore the geysers of Yellowstone National Park after waking up early to wolf-watch in Lamar Valley.
  • Participate in cultural exchange on Navajo Nation while your group stays with a Navajo host.
  • Packraft Montana's Dearborn river, finessing your paddle strokes.

Student Photo Gallery